It's a familiar and picturesque scene......A child riding down
a tree-lined street on their bike, the wind blowing through their
But it's also a dangerous scene. They're not wearing a helmet!
Each year, nearly 1 million children are treated for bicycle
injuries. 260,000 of these injuries involve trauma to the head.
One third of these head injuries involve permanent brain damage.
One of the most simple and effective ways to prevent brain
injury is to wear a bicycle helmet. Many bicycle accidents occur
in quiet residential neighborhoods, parks and driveways. Wearing
a helmet for a short trip to the store or to a neighbor's home
may seem unnecessary to you or to your child, but it is the most
important situation in which to wear a helmet.
As the cycling season begins,
Valley View Hospital is reminding parents to start and
enforce the helmet habit. While bicycling is great fun
and great exercise for your family, these precautions
will help your family to enjoy this sport safely.
- Fatalities from bicycle accidents rise rapidly
from age 5 and are the highest among 10-13 year olds.
Boys are injured twice as often as girls.
- Fatalities are more likely to occur during the
warm months, May through September. Peak hours are
after school from 3 to 6 p.m.
- A safely constructed bicycle helmet can reduce
the risk of injury by 85%. Get a bike helmet with
a plastic shell that is certified to Snell or ANSI
The helmet habit:
- Don't let any child ride a tricycle or bicycle
without a helmet. Also insist on helmet use when
skating or using skateboards.
- Talk to your children about the importance of
wearing a helmet. Be honest with them about the injuries
you are trying to prevent.
- When you ride or skate, wear your helmet. Your
example is very important in establishing the helmet
- Start having your child wear a helmet when he
or she first begins riding a tricycle. This will
help the helmet to become a natural habit for riding.
- Let each child select a helmet that he or she
likes and finds comfortable. Make sure it is adjusted
for a correct fit.
- Let your child decorate the helmet with stickers
or decals to make it "cool". During the pre-teen
years, when appearance becomes so important, peer
pressure is a major obstacle to wearing a helmet.